County Observes World Aids Day

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WPCNR COUNTY-CLARION LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. December 1, 2020:

Linda Hakim, a dedicated advocate for those with and at risk for HIV for more than 17 years, will receive a Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award at the statewide 22nd Annual World AIDS Day Event to take place virtually on Tuesday, December 1.

Hakim, who manages the Westchester County Health Department PrEP/PEP Program, is one of 19 awardees selected statewide. PrEP is a preventive treatment that when taken daily can prevent HIV in people who are most at risk and PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis, is medicine taken to prevent HIV after a possible exposure.

She also serves on the Ryan White Part A Tri County Steering Committee and NYSDOH AIDS Institute HIV Advisory Board. Hakim makes herself available to clients 24/7 to ensure they have their medications, access to prevention services, and supports to address issues related to social and economic factors that influence their health.

Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said: “Linda Hakim is a passionate and tireless advocate who gives her all to the community she serves. I am thrilled she is being recognized for the wonderful work she does for Westchester residents.”

The 22nd Annual World AIDS Day Event is free and open to the public. Register to participate at https://whova.com/web/endin_202012/. The recognition ceremony will take place on World AIDS Day at 11:30 a.m. The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute is sponsoring these events.

This year’s theme is “The Story of Ending the Epidemic: Past, Present, and Future.” The goal is to highlight personal stories of determination, courage, hope, and progress that New Yorkers demonstrate each day, despite the many challenges they have faced this year. 

In recognition of more than 30 years of fighting the epidemic here in Westchester and around the world, the Westchester County Department of Health reminds residents to get tested for the disease.

Amler said:  “An estimated 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and yet one in five don’t know it. Everyone should know their HIV status and free testing is readily available.”

Free rapid and regular HIV testing and PrEP are offered by the Health Department at 20 South Broadway in Yonkers and at 134 Court Street in White Plains. Residents can call 995-5800 for dates and times or view the clinic schedule at www.westchestergov.com/health.

HIV remains a nationwide and worldwide epidemic. HIV.GOV estimates that 38 million people worldwide are living with HIV. Although there are effective treatments for HIV, there is still no cure for HIV and no vaccine to prevent it.

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